Current Affairs August 18

RoDTEP Scheme

• Centre has today notified RoDTEP Scheme Guidelines and Rates (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products).
• The scheme for zero rating of exports will boost our exports & competitiveness in the global markets .
• The rates of RoDTEP will cover 8555 tariff lines.
• It may be noted that Government is leaving no stone unturned to support domestic industry and make it more competitive in the international markets.
• Export centric industries are being reformed and introduced to better mechanisms so as to increase their competitiveness, boost exports, generate employment and contribute to the overall economy.
• This will go a long way in achieving our vision of building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
• Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) is one such reform, based on the globally accepted principle that taxes and duties should not be exported, and taxes and levies borne on the exported products should be either exempted or remitted to exporters.
• Scheme’s objective is to refund, currently un-refunded:
• Duties/ taxes/ levies, at the Central, State & local level, borne on the exported product, including prior stage cumulative indirect taxes on goods & services used in production of the exported product, and
– Such indirect Duties/ taxes/ levies in respect of distribution of exported products.
• It may be noted that rebate under the Scheme shall not be available in respect of duties and taxes already exempted or remitted or credited.
• RoDTEP is going to give a boost to Indian exports by providing a level playing field to domestic industry abroad.
• RoDTEP support will be available to eligible exporters at a notified rate as a percentage of Freight On Board (FOB) value. Rebate on certain export products will also be subject to value cap per unit of the exported product.
• Scheme is to be implemented by Customs through a simplified IT System.

Security force to protect judiciary

• The Union government told the Supreme Court that it was “not advisable” to form a Central security force to protect the judiciary and court complexes.
• The government said security of courts was “better left to the States”.
• problems of security varied from State to State.
• The State police would be better equipped to gauge the deployment needs in local courts and take care of logistics of transporting criminals and protecting witnesses, among other crucial functions within court complexes.

Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed

• A major stumbling block faced by Indian farmers pertains to the lack of affordable good quality feed and fodder for livestock.
• A study by the Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute has observed that for every 100 kg of feed required, India is short of 23.4 kg of dry fodder, 11.24 kg of green fodder, and 28.9 kg of concentrate feed.
• This is one of the chief reasons why Indian livestock’s milk productivity is 20%-60% lower than the global average
• The significance of Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed recently announced by the Indian government is underscored by the fact that livestock is the major source of cash income for about 13 crore marginal farmers and is an insurance in the event of crop failure.
• The lack of good quality feed and fodder impacts the productivity levels of cattle.
• As about 200 million Indians are involved in dairy and livestock farming, the scheme is important from the perspective of poverty alleviation
• When the National Livestock Mission was launched in 2014, it focused on supporting farmers in producing fodder from non-forest wasteland/grassland, and cultivation of coarse grains.
• However, this model could not sustain fodder availability due to lack of backward and forward linkages in the value chain.
• Therefore, the Mission has been revised to make the programme focus primarily on assistance towards seed production and the development of feed and fodder entrepreneurs.
• It now provides for 50% direct capital subsidy to the beneficiaries under the feed and fodder entrepreneurship programme and 100% subsidy on fodder seed production to identified beneficiaries
• The Sub-Mission on Fodder and Feed intends to create a network of entrepreneurs who will make silage (the hub) and sell them directly to the farmers (the spoke)
• Private entrepreneurs, self-help groups, farmer producer organisations, dairy cooperative societies, and Section 8 companies (NGOs) can avail themselves of the benefits under this scheme.
• The scheme will provide 50% capital subsidy up to ₹50 lakh towards project cost to the beneficiary for infrastructure development and for procuring machinery for value addition in feed such as hay/silage/total mixed ration
• A major challenge in the feed sector emanates from the fact that good quality green fodder is only available for about three months during the year.
• So, the ideal solution would be to ferment green fodder and convert it into silage.
• Hence, under the fodder entrepreneurship programme, farmers will receive subsidies and incentives to create a consistent supply chain of feed throughout the year

Theory of special relativity vs general theory of relativity

• The theory of special relativity explains how space and time are linked for objects that are moving at a consistent speed in a straight line.
• as an object approaches the speed of light, its mass becomes infinite and it is unable to go any faster than light travels.
• The theory of special relativity was developed by Albert Einstein in 1905, and it forms part of the basis of modern physics
• Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity holds that what we perceive as the force of gravity arises from the curvature of space and time. The scientist proposed that objects such as the sun and the Earth change this geometry.


Section 52 of copyright act


• In 2002, in light of two progressive pronouncements by the Supreme Court of India the right to education found a secure constitutional home in the fundamental rights chapter of the Indian Constitution.
• This fundamental right, set out in Article 21A, guarantees every child between the ages of 6 and 14 access to free and compulsory education.
• In a series of rulings (Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, and Avinash Mehrotra vs Union of India), the top court has interpreted the right in a broad and expansive way, holding that it imposes an affirmative obligation on the government and civil society to secure its enjoyment.
• Consistent with this spirit, the Court held in Farzana Batool vs Union of India that, while access to professional education is not a fundamental right, the state must take affirmative measures to secure the right to education at all levels
• “Ensuring balance between copyright protection of the publishers and public access to affordable educational study material” by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce in a recent report stated–
• The Committee suggests curtailing fair dealing provisions under Indian Copyright law — which enable access to the work without the copyright holder’s consent — since it was informed that the provisions pose “a detrimental impact on the publishing industry and authors who are mainly dependent on royalties”
• Fair dealing provisions in the Copyright Act. Section 52(1)(i) allows the reproduction of any work by a teacher or a pupil in the course of instruction.
• The Committee should have focused on suggesting amendments to Section 52 that would have made our copyright law fit for today’s challenge
• Given the Supreme Court’s richly articulated constitutional obligation of the state to secure access to education, copyright law should facilitate, as opposed to attenuating its enjoyment.



Need for debate and discussion in parliament

• The disquiet over the absence of adequate debate or discussion in Parliament is quite widespread.
• Concerned citizens and sections of the Opposition bemoan the evident haste with which laws are pushed through;
• presiding officers fret over the low productivity due to time lost amidst unruly protests; and even government representatives may worry that their legislative agenda is not being carried out in time.
• The Chief Justice of India, Justice N.V. Ramana, has added a new dimension to this sense of discontent by pointing out the absence of any help from parliamentary debates when the courts are faced with ambiguities or lacunae in law
• It is quite true that a fuller debate in the legislature would provide greater insight into the intent behind laws, but a situation that requires a scrutiny of such intent ought not to arise in normal circumstances.
• Legislation should be drafted clearly and the letter of the law should not stray much beyond its purpose and scope.
• A purposive interpretation of statute is normally required only when the wording of the law is unclear
• In a recent example, the Supreme Court ruled that the 102nd Amendment to the Constitution ousted the power of State governments to identify backward classes,
• even though it was vehemently argued by the Government that it was not Parliament’s intention.
• It highlights the need to have the wording of the law fully reflect the legislative intent